Transparent support group sponsors trans youth awareness day

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - At an art gallery Thursday evening, a group of St. Louis-area residents gathered to listen to a public reading of a book titled, “I Am Jazz.”

Kelly Storck is a psychotherapist in private practice who helps people and families dealing with trans-gender issues.

“I Am Jazz,” said Storck, explaining the significance of the book.  “It came from Wisconsin last year, when a school canceled a reading after group of concerned citizens threatened a lawsuit.  So others held a public reading in same community and had an incredible turn-out.”

Kim Hutton is executive director of St. Louis-based TransParent.

“The biggest struggle,” said Hutton, “is for people who don`t understand the experience.  Maybe they don`t know much about it, or there’s a lack of education.  Sometimes kids are clearly misunderstood and mis-gendered frequently.  Maybe some kids aren`t having great experiences at school due to lack of knowledge & education.”

Sarah Garver is with the Human Rights Campaign.

“Human Rights Campaign called for a day of action for all these ‘I Am Jazz’ readings across nation,” said Garver.  “They were started after an incident in Wisconsin where an anti-LGBT hate group issued threats against a school that was planning an ‘I Am Jazz’ reading in support of a trans-gender student.  After that, a concerned parent organized another reading and more than 600 people attended.  This day of action was announced at Human Rights Campaign as a way of bringing everybody together to make sure all trans-gender children know the world is a loving and inclusive place.”

So what can a parent do if they suspect their child is struggling with gender issues?

Storck said, “The most important thing is know where your kid is.  Follow them; let them lead.  If we give them space, these kids will tell us who they are.”

Hutton added, “I would say follow your child`s lead.  They know who they are, get them some support.  Come to TransParent.  We will help you.”

TransParent’s website is

Elizabeth Schlesinger is also a representative of Human Rights Campaign.

“We just hope to bring more awareness to the community,” said Schlesinger.  “We’ve been working with TransParent this year, a great local organization getting ready to launch national chapters.  So we want to let people know about TransParent and the important work they do.”


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